Two pyrene-modified UNA monomers were synthesized and incorporated into 21-mer DNA oligonucleotides. Melting temperatures and thermodynamic properties of the modified duplexes were measured, and the fluorescence properties of single strands and duplexes containing one or more pyrene-UNA modifications were studied. It was found that incorporation of pyrene-UNA monomers increased duplex stability relative to UNA monomers, and thermodynamic studies revealed significant mismatch discriminative capabilities of the pyrene-UNA modified oligonucleotides. Furthermore, the steady-state fluorescence emission intensities of pyrene-UNA modified oligonucleotides were increased upon hybridization to DNA, which to the best of our knowledge is unprecedented for an acyclic pyrene modification in DNA. Interestingly, pyrene excimer emission was observed for single-stranded oligonucleotides containing three pyrene-UNA modifications, whereas this excimer emission disappeared after hybridization to DNA. In view of both the pyrene monomer and the excimer fluorescence emission, the triply modified oligonucleotides show intriguing properties relating to the development of new DNA/RNA detection tools.
Karlsen, K. K., Pasternak, A., Jensen, T. B., & Wengel, J. (2012). Pyrene-modified unlocked nucleic acids: synthesis, thermodynamic studies, and fluorescent properties. ChemBioChem, 13(4), 590-601. https://doi.org/10.1002/cbic.201100689